One Last Time: Obama and Celebrities

It’s been an emotional week, and tomorrow’s going to be even rougher. That’s why today we’re taking a break for a bit of fun. We always get a kick out of celebrities meeting a well-liked president, if only because sometimes it’s hard to guess who’s more excited. Getting to meet the president can be a major perk of success in athletics or the entertainment industry, but it’s got to be a blast for the president, too: you signed up to lead a nation, but you also get to meet all of these varied, talented, fascinating people. Whether he’s cracking up with Olympians or welcoming Broadway actors into his home, it’s a real ‘presidents – they’re just like us!’ feeling. Get ready to smile and relive some of the fun times from the past 8 years!

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

President Obama, Amy Poehler and Saturday Night Live – talk about three beautiful, cherished American institutions, all in one picture.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

There were a number of early Obama adapters during his first presidential campaign, namely because he had a lot of buzz as a senator in Illinois. Among them were Usher and pre-Scandal Kerry Washington, who campaigned for him in 2008. These folks ain’t bandwagon supporters.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Oprah is all of us. Also, remember that shining era when we had Obama in the White House AND Oprah on TV? I swear these are the things we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Two days before the inauguration in 2009, musicians and actors came together for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, performing songs and reciting pieces for the Obamas, Bidens and 400,000 people in attendance. Among those who took the stage were U2 (as seen above), Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as collabos between James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Heather Headley, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C.,Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow, and Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira. Not to mention the other stars like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Luther King III and more reading historical passages. You can watch the two hour concert here!

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, 'Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

For the actual inauguration, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill collaborated on a piece by John Williams called Air and Simple Gifts, and although that was lauded, it was Aretha Franklin who really stole the show as she sang My Country, ‘Tis if Thee. Sure, we all know how great of a singer she is but it was the hat – a grey, Swarovski crystal-studded bow hat, that sparked conversation and memes all over the world. Also getting to see the hat IRL at the ceremony were

That night, the Obamas attended 10 official inaugural balls, where even MORE celebrities attended like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Will Smith – legit the list is too long to type out so read all of them here – and Beyonce showed up again in her iconic romantic serenade of At Last.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

This is just a sample of their annual holiday concert. Just imagine this times 8.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

My favorite is that Will Ferrell and his wife – a person who lives with Will Ferrell – appear to be laughing at whatever OBAMA said.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

Usually the President’s activities during a trip are explicit, but there was no mention of this secret meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Barack asked 25 of Hollywood’s hottest stars to get involved in his re-election campaign. Among them were Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff, Jeremy Renner, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush. Obviously, these folks put their photos on social media later for all of us to be jealous of.

May 11, 2012

President Obama takes a break during a basketball game in Los Angeles with some A-list teammates and competitors – Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney. Plus two of Clooney’s long-time friends and now ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler. September, 2012.

Find yourself someone who looks at you like George Clooney is looking at POTUS.

November 15, 2012

President Obama poses with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. November, 2012.

I love that Obama fangirled over the 2012 Olympics as much as the rest of us, and also that he’s clearly up on his memes.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Obama’s second inauguration was a star-studded event, and by this point Beyonce was an established White House favorite. Really makes me proud to be an American!

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

Like we said, really fun inauguration. In this photo, Kelly Clarkson is looking at Obama exactly how I would, AND Obama is looking at Kelly Clarkson exactly how I would.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

The Obamas danced to Stevie Wonder at their wedding and all these years later he’s a regular guest in their home, playing POTUS’s birthday party and getting awards from him. If you look closely you can see all of Barack’s dreams coming true.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

JT posted the above photo on Obama’s birthday and captioned it “Just showing The Prez how I made a half-court shot on his hoop while he was leading the free world and stuff… No big deal. Happy Bday, Mr. President!!”

They have inside jokes, it’s fine.

This is an Emmy-winning video.

The President and the First Lady meet the President and the First Lady. White House Correspondents Dinner. May, 2014.

Mellie/Michelle 2020?

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how happy Barry looks? That is pure joy right there.

After Cecily Strong's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

After Cecily Strong’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

Remember how Cecily Strong absolutely crushed it at the WHCD?! Then, even though he was the butt of some of the jokes, POTUS also acknowledged that she was absolutely hilarious and all of the hits were totally fair. Also, this happened to be the same WHCD where Obama’s Anger Translator Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) showed up.

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I like to think that this is how everyone looks at you when you get to heaven.

We consider Hamilton a true musical of the Obama era and we get such a kick out of the mutual love between the cast, creatives and POTUS.

Dec. 7, 2015 “Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the window of the Oval Office. December, 2015.

I’m not one who particularly *loves* Jerry Seinfeld, but I do enjoy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and this one with President Obama is no different. Well, actually it was. Since the Pres has limited ability to drive around in a vintage car with a guy who makes jokes for a living, they could lit’rally only make a loop in front of the White House and the coffee was in some WH bunker. That’s exaggerating – just watch it.

President Obama joined Jimmy Fallon for a second installment of Slow Jam the News. June, 2016.

Since Jimmy had a talk show, the Obamas have been happy to play along with his bits, including Slow Jam the News, which is another reason why President Obama is the coolest. Slick Willy Clinton could probably get away with doing this but can you imagine Dubya saying “Oh yeah” then dropping the mic?

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with 'Happy Birthday.' July 4, 2016.

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with ‘Happy Birthday.’ July 4, 2016.

The 2004 films Chasing Liberty and First Daughter taught me that it can be hard to be the child of the American president … but if your 18th birthday involves Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae singing you Happy Birthday on the White House lawn, it sounds pretty OK.

Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

George and Barack back on the basketball court after they met to discuss some human rights policies. September, 2016.

This is also the poster of the 2018 film where Clooney & Obama lead a rag-tag group of international figures in some kind of witty heist.

Oct. 21, 2016 “Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Bill Murray shows off his putting skills in the Oval Office while filming a PSA to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. It was also just before he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. October, 2016.

Just two Chicago boys casually putting into glass in the Oval Office.

Nov. 22, 2016 “Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Bruce Springsteen before he received the President Medal of Freed. November, 2016.

I don’t think you know how many Bruce Springsteen pictures we had to choose from. There’s probably a small, dedicated guest room where Bruce stays and they’ll have to forcefully remove him on 1/20.

Rather than a photo, just watch the whole video of Obama awarding Ellen Degeneres the Medal of Freedom. It’s definitely a two-kleenex moment.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

Octavia Spencer, somehow simultaneously so adorable you could imagine being BFFs with her and so talented that it’s intimidating, is the face of America.

WHEN THE WHITEHOUSE BECAME THE BLACK HOUSE. #THEUNION #ORGANIZE

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

When your favs are each others favs: I’ve heard that Janelle Monae has been invited to/performed at the White House more than any other musical artist. Also just this whole crowd, in general.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Do yourself a favor and run a search of Kendrick Lamar and President Obama at the White House. All of the photos are absolutely delightful.

President Obama teaches Steph Curry a few things about shooting. April, 2016.

 

Y’all – do yourself a favor and watch this entire concert of BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration. Partly because BET isn’t going to present a damn thing for the next administration, but mostly because there are star-studded performances from Jill Scott, BFF Janelle Monae, smokeshows Common, Usher and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Bradley Cooper is also there to fill a quota.

Going away party. January, 2017.

What better way to end eight years in a mansion than with your famous friends? The Obamas held one last bash at the White House earlier this month, with a bunch of celebrities who have supported the administration throughout their tenure. Guests weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the party that lasted until 4am, so all the available photos are from the outside, or in performer Solange’s case, during soundcheck. Among those who danced alongside Barry and Michelle were Amal and George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Chance the Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Usher and Billy Eichner. AND MORE.

Finally, cry your eyes out as you watch celebrities thank the Obamas for their years of service.

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American Idol, #Nvr4Get

The American Idol series finale was last night, and the country crowned its 15th and final winner La’Porsha Trent Harmon. The show was jam-packed with special performances from former Idol contestants (Tamyra Gray, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Jessica Sanchez, Pia Toscano, Kellie Pickler), winners (Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Jordin, White Guys With Guitars, Kelly SINGING A MOMENT LIKE THIS), and Brian Dunkleman. It was clearly emotional for all those involved in the show for the past 10+ years, but it full disclosure, it was emotional for me too.

Yeah, 15 seasons is quite a long run and it’s definitely time to go, but you can’t deny how much of an impact this show has had on reality TV, the music industry, and most importantly, the lives of all those involved. For instance, Kelly Clarkson was waiting tables when she auditioned for the show, and was barely getting by. Now she’s become one of the most successful and acclaimed artists not only as an Idol alum but in pop music, and she probably wouldn’t have been able to reach the level of success she’s at without this platform.

But what I’ve realized over the past few days is that I’m not so much “sad” to see the show go – it’s more of the nostalgia I get from the Idol, yearning for the glory of what the show once was. Case in point last night’s finale. Reuniting the Three Divas (Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson & LaToya London), teaming up Justin Guarini & Jordin Sparks, throwing to Sanjaya & his hair in the audience, and that entire Gospel medley. The producers brought all these people back because THEY are what made Idol great. Back in its heyday, circa 2003 to 2009, Idol became the highest-rated TV show in the United States for an unprecedented seven consecutive years. It became bigger than anyone could ever have imagined. There were even people lit’rally making money off of Idol online with dedicated websites (because the Internet was still emerging as a thing) like Rickey.org and MjsBigBlog, and that type of fandom for an unscripted reality competition series had never been seen before.

But back then, everyone was watching it because it was entertaining. People got sucked into voting for their favorites (or their least favorites – Vote for the Worst, anyone?) and it became watercooler fodder the next day. I am not ashamed to admit that I, too, became a crazed fan of Idol. I purchased not only the winners’ albums but the Idol compilation albums. I’ve gone to a few of the Idol summer tours, and if you recall from a previous post, I may have been in the audience in season one holding up a sign that in all honestly, I partly made so I could get on TV. It worked.

LOL HI

Anyway, all this to say that while a lot of people consider the past few seasons of Idol completely moot, a series finale makes you remember why you fell in love with the show in the first place. Over the past 15 seasons, Idol has definitely given us plenty to talk about, and what better time to talk about all those moments than on the day after the show ends? Thanks for all the memories and lasting legacies you’ve left us with. We’ll Nvr4Get.

The Audacity of Season 1

Season one was kind of a shit show, but a good shit show. Production value was lower than Scotty McCreery’s basso profondo and it took a while for people to tune in. As we know, the auditions are sometimes the most entertaining episodes, and season one was no exception. It was the first we’d see of the extremely outspoken, cutthroat, no filter Simon Cowell. It was like he was being rude to all these contestants (who admittedly couldn’t carry one note) and America was like, ‘Yo, who the hell is this British dude?’ It was also telling of the singers who came in to audition – it was jarring to see a handful of people fight back against the judges and Cowell, since we weren’t necessarily used to the harsh talk back on TV. Enter Tamika Bush, who was one of the very first rude singers to grace the show. I personally enjoy her two-glasses style approach. Why keep your prescription sunglasses in your bag when you can just wear it you head?

Forget JHud, Give From Justin to Kelly An Oscar

Ok, you probably didn’t forget this happened but did you even watch it at all? WELL I DID. In the theater. And maybe with Molly? (yes, and I didn’t realize it would be a musical. YEAH.-M) Either way, it wasn’t that good, but it was along the lines of so bad it’s good. Bless these two for having to do this. The downside of fame, y’all.

Simon + Paula = Saula

In the first couple of seasons, viewers noticed there was an odd chemistry between Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. They’d be at odds with each other one second and the next it felt as if we all needed to leave the room so they could have it to themselves. During the season two finale, producers had fun with this and came up with this little sketch that is something you can never unsee.

World Idol Was a Thing

If you didn’t know, American Idol was adapted from the British version called Pop Idol, which was a huge hit in the U.K. Soon after its major success, more versions of the show started popping up around the world, and by late 2003, when we had already crowned our first and only Idol Kelly, producers of Pop Idol decided it would be a good idea to create World Idol. Think of it as Eurovision, but less importance on the song choice. Don’t get that reference, you lousy Americans? It’s like of the Olympics had a singing event and had one representative from each country compete. Kelly repped the U.S. but came in second to Norway’s Kurt Nilsen, who won with U2’s Beautiful Day. Foiled by Bono again.

Beating the System

For season four, a tricky concept called Dial Idol was introduced, and it’s important to know this had no affiliation at all to American Idol itself. Dial Idol was a Windows program and its associated website that tracks voting trends for Idol contestants. Using your PC’s modem, viewers can automatically vote for their faves and the program reports back to the main website. That site, DialIdol.com, kept track of all the voting data, and therefore was usually a good indicator on who was leading week to week. From seasons four through 13, Dial Idol’s prediction on who would take home the crown was only wrong once, and it was for S13 when the data predicted Jena Irene would win over Caleb Johnson (I barely watched that season too). It was controversial for many reasons, but for those betting money on Idol, it proved to be a secret weapon and guide to win that dough.

The Three Divas Debacle

This was an epic moment from season 3, and maybe the best/worst elimination ever? (Watch it above around the 28:23 mark) It was the results show revealing who was going to make the top 6. Ryan divided the remaining contestants into two groups – on the left side of the stage, it was Fantasia, LaToya and JHud. On the right side of the stage, it was Diana DeGarmo, John Stevens and Jasmine Trias. Ryan then told the remaining contestant, George Huff, that he was safe and to go to the group he also thought was safe. He apprehensively approached the groups, with the Three Divas motioning to come to join them. The audience cheered but then Ryan announced the plot twist – he had joined the wrong group. Note: they did this fake out again in S6, but Melinda Doolittle (in the George Huff position) decided to sit in the middle of the stage and didn’t pick a side lololol). Anyways, the result was the shocking elimination of Jennifer Hudson, but I hear she’s been doing fine since then.

Queen of Crying Memes

Ah, crying girl. The most memorable fan to come out of the pits of the CBS studio audience. Crying girl, aka Ashley Ferl, was 13 years old when she was left in hormonal teen tears after Sanjaya seductively moved his hips as he sang You Really Got Me in season six. The camera only panned to her for a few brief moments, but she’s lived on in the Internet forever. She’s now 22 and a college student majoring in liberal studies. And while she may not be a Fanjaya anymore, she’s still an Idol viewer. Wonder what she thought about Sanjaya’s random wig appearances on the finale last night.

American Juniors

After the unprecedented success of the first two seasons of American Idol, producers decided to capitalize on it even more by launching a spin-off show called American Juniors, looking for the best five young talents to create the country’s next big pop group. The format was a little different than Idol Senior, wherein each week one kid would get voted into the group as opposed to being eliminated. The group barely became anything, but the only thing you need to take out of it is that American was introduced to Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars fame. She made it to the group, but now runs from some Big Bad trying to kill her and her friends in designer clothes.

American Idol Experience

In 2009, a theme park attraction called the American Idol Experience, opened at Disney’ World’s Hollywood Studios. It was basically set up to be just like the show, with singers actually auditioning and performing in front of a real audience for a real shot to audition for the real show. There were a handful of Idol finalists from the AI Experience who made it to the show, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that at the grand opening of the attraction, a bunch of Idol alum took the stage, including winners S1 through 7, and that provided for a duet of two of my faves, Carrie and David Cook as seen above. And if you want to go to this attraction, too late. It closed in 2014.

The Best Hollywood Week Groups

Hollywood Week is notoriously difficult, and maybe my favorite part of each season. The contestants are really put to the test, and it always seems like everyone is sleep deprived, hates most people the interact with, and can’t remember the words to well-known songs for the life of them. Tensions run high, people get sick (S11 winner Phillip Phillips even had to be hospitalized during Hollywood Week due to kidney problems) and many are cut from the competition. But every year it’s the group rounds that separate the best from the worst, and in season six, four guys did their damn thing. Three of them even made the semi-finals, with Blake coming in as the runner-up to Jordin. Special shout out to White Chocolate from season eight.

Pants on the Ground

Civil rights activist “General” Larry Platt auditioned with this song in season nine and it became a viral hit. The actual track is meant to protest the practice of guys sagging their trousers, but I have a funny feeling most of the people who bought the single didn’t even realize the real meaning behind it. Either way, it was so memorable he even made a brief appearance on the series finale.

Idol Gives Back

Idol Gives Back was a charity campaign that happened three times throughout the run of the show. The episode featured performances from current and past Idols, celebrities, and music superstars in an effort to get people to donate their money to charity. From the three specials, the campaign raised over $185 million for underserved communities in America and around the world. And also Brad Pitt.

The Scandals

Listen, you can’t have thousands of people across America going to an open call for a hit TV show without meeting a few folks with colorful backgrounds. It began in season two with Corey Clark who was disqualified during the finals (he made it to the top 9) because of an undisclosed criminal record. He later claimed he had an affair with Paula during the show, and that led to her giving him preferential treatment. That went away, but he became a hot mess afterwards. Similarly, Frenchie Davis who I thought was going to be a frontrunner (see: Band of Gold that I still listen to to this day), was disqualified for having previously modelled for an adult website. Other notable controversial contestants include S4’s Mario Vasquez (a frontrunner, left on his own accord citing personal reasons, rumored to be related to lewd conduct with a crew member), S6’s Antonella Barba (racy pix of her surfaced online), S7’s David Hernandez (used to be a stripper), S11’s Jermaine Jones (concealed arrests and outstanding warrants).

Seacrest’s High Five Faux Pas

There is no back story to this besides Ryan can’t read the room.

The Life of Pablo

That time Seacrest used his connections to get Kanye to audition.

“Other Door”

Contestants in the initial rounds had a lot of trouble figuring out which door to leave through, and this montage still gets me cracking up every time. In recent years, they’ve noticeably put an Idol-branded sticker on the door to indicate which one they should go out of.

Bikini Girl

In season eight, a gal called Katrina Darrell showed up to the auditions in only a bikini. It became this whole thing and she even managed to steal a kiss from Ryan. Second-hand embarrassment. She surprisingly made it to Hollywood but got cut in the group rounds. She appeared in the finale alongside judge Kara DioGuardi, who also showed up in her bikini and sang. This show, I swear.

Nicki vs. Mariah

Like what even happened that season? Rumors of their fighting surfaced (maybe that should be in quotes) on TMZ long before the first episodes even aired, and it continued for the whole season. It was annoying. It was even more annoying because the focus turned from the contestants to them, and that’s not fair.

Bigger and Better Than Idol

Listen, not everyone can get it right. And that includes Idol judges. There have been a handful of singers who auditioned for the show, didn’t make it, but eventually became superstars. For instance, Tori Kelly got cut during Hollywood Week, and Simon was not a fan of hers. Cut to 2016 when she got nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy. Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, COlbie Calliat, and Glee’s Amber Riley both didn’t even make it past the preliminary rounds, while The Swon Brothers’ Colton Swon and The Hunger Games star Alan Ritchson also didn’t make the cut.

#YouTried

And finally, here’s an ode to all the finalists who left an impression on me and other Idol fans throughout the 15 seasons. Most of the contestants listed below were underdogs and/or underappreciated, and I feel like they need one more shout out before Idol rides off into the sunset… for now (an actual phrase Seacrest said at the end of the finale, which could mean anything but I don’t need it to come back).

Unpopular Opinions: Aretha Franklin Only Made Me Want Adele Back

Soul diva Aretha Franklin has a new album coming out called ‘Aretha Franklin Takes on the Great Diva Classics’, and if you haven’t figured out the theme of the record by now, it’s basically her covering songs by other divas. Yesterday, her cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep was released online, and it sounds a little something like this.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m on drugs as I’m nursing a cold right now, but I do not like this version. I even listened to it twice you guys, and I still felt the same way about it. Is it the fact that a brilliant singer like Aretha used autotune on a track? Maybe. Is it because she over-dramatizes the phrase ‘rolling in the deeEEEEEEEEP’? Probs (you should hear me trying to imitate her singing right now). Is it because the Adele version is so perfect that it’s hard to top, even if you’re Aretha Franklin? Obvs.

The song just came out, so I’m not sure what all the people are saying about it, but here’s my unpopular opinion against it. I’m obviously no music critic, so haters that may be reading this right now, take that with a grain of salt. Aretha is obviously one of the greatest vocalists of all time, but sometimes, it’s just better if you don’t fix what’s not broken. I get that she wanted to give it her own twist and make it different enough from the original that it stands out, but this was just too much. It actually sounded like she was trying a bit too hard. But if it’s any consolation, every singer must go through this complex. They think they can sing one way and that it will turn out a certain way but when you take a step back, it’s not exactly what you had hoped for. The kids on American Idol have been struggling with this since season one. ‘Make it your own’ Randy said. ‘It’s too karaoke’ Simon said. It’s hard to find a balance between the two, but when a singer does find the right combo, it’s perfect.

Speaking of American Idol, someone who’s amazing at covering songs without butchering them is Kelly Clarkson, who spent an entire tour taking requests from fans and singing one cover a night. She decided to tackle Adele’s Someone Like You while in Australia, and the result was a fitting tribute to the great song Adele made but also sounded like a straight up Kelly Clarkson track, if that makes any sense.

While Aretha puts too much ‘Aretha’ in her cover, Kelly doesn’t overdo it by putting too much ‘Kelly’ into it. I love you Aretha, but maybe pull back a little on the drama. Yes, I know that’s basically what she’s known for, but it works much better and is much more impressive when she does it on her own songs. By the way, in case you’re wondering, some of the other divas Aretha covers on her new album include Barbra Streisand’s People and Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U. I’m going to take a moment to let that sink in.

But back to Rolling in the Deep. The other big reaction I had from listening to this song was that it only made me yearn for more Adele. She has such a unique and wonderful voice that just can’t be replaced. Aretha did her thing, Kelly did a great job, but there’s nothing quite like the original. I need her to come out of her baby cave and release a new album. An EP would even suffice. Hell, do what Beyonce did and put your son in the record – I just need to never hear Aretha scooping up for notes in autotune ever again.

Celebri-beefs 2013: Open (letter) Season

Some years can’t help but jump out of the history books and into the collective memory. Year 0: Jesus is born. 1215: The Magna Carta is signed. 1492: Columbus lands in the Americas. 1776: history begins (go ‘murrica!).

Mark my words, ladies and gentlemen — in centuries’ time, 2013 will be on the list. Our grandchildren will ask what it was like, living in this monumental age. And we’ll tell them — we’ll tell them just what it was like to live in the Year of Celebrity Beefs That Were Hashed Out Over Open Letter. Open Letter Season, we’ll call it. And oh, what a season it was:

Miley Cyrus vs. Sinead O’Connor (vs. Sufjan Stevens?)

Put your feet up and pour yourself a hot beverage, because this one’s going to take a while. Let’s just list this numerically:

1. Miley Cyrus says that the Wrecking Ball video was inspired by O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U, as both feature closeups of white women crying (also inspired by Nothing Compares 2 U: every Lifetime move ever, apparently).

2. In Open Letter 1, Sinead replies that Miley is “allowing [herself] to be exploited.” She continues “It is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be value (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.”

So, on one hand, I think that Miley is just, well, bein’ Miley, and that maybe Destiny Hope is just trying to own her image. On the other hand, Sinead is totally right that the music business “doesn’t give a sh–” about Miley. Since O’Connor is Irish, I assume that that word there was “shite.”

3. Miley RT’s a bunch of Sinead’s wackier tweets and compares O’Connor to Amanda Bynes.

4. Sinead pens Open Letter 2, calling Miley “anti-female.” Don’t worry, we’ll revisit this theme in the Lorde/Selena Gomez beef later.

5. In my favorite thing ever, Cyrus tweets “Sinead. I don’t have time to write you an open letter cause I’m hosting and performing on SNL this week. So if you’d like to meet up and talk let me know in your next letter. :)” If you don’t think that Miley Cyrus has the mind of a great writer, just look to this tweet. From the annoyed “Sinead.” at the beginning to the sly smiley-face at the end, Miley is basically a social-media wunderkind.

6. Open Letter 3: Sinead doesn’t want to meet, thank you.

7. Miley talks about the whole thing on The Today Show, because Matt Lauer is the TV host version of that one girl in high school who is friends with everyone so has to listen dispassionately to everyone’s side of the story.

8. Open letter 4: O’Connor remarks that Cyrus shouldn’t make light of mental illness, like she did for O’Connor and Bynes. Sinead is right, of course. Thank goodness that, as a 20-year-old, I made all of my insensitive jokes in person and not to famous people.

9. Sufjan Stevens, never one to be out-epistled, penned the following open letter to Miley:

Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.

But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine.

Because it’s Sufjan Stevens, he’s a little bit sassy (great body), a little bit intellectual (grammar tips), and a little bit theological (purgatory).

Lorde vs. Selena Gomez vs. Taylor Swift

This feud didn’t involve a proper open letter, but it still involved a lot of  indirect public shade being thrown, sort of a grown-up(ish) version of “ugh, can you tell Lorde that I’m mad at her?”

It’s like this. Lorde dissed Selena’s song, Come and Get It, saying “I’m a feminist an the theme of her song is, ‘When you’re ready, come and get it from me.’ I’m sick of women being portrayed this way.”

Basically, Lorde left her comments out there with an implied “come and get it” of her own — and Selena made sure that it was got. Gomez stopped covering Royals in her concerts (burn!) and shot back “in my opinion it’s not feminism if you’re tearing down another artist.” Say what I will about kids these days (and I will), the teen pop stars of my generation would never have had an open feud that’s essentially a discourse on the definition and implications of feminism in pop culture, y’know? Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan mostly just fought over Aaron Carter. I feel like we’re all inside a college freshman’s weird dream after she fell asleep during a women’s studies class discussion of The Beauty Myth.

But wait. Taylor Swift hasn’t entered the story yet. As 2013 came to a close, there were reports that T.Swift and Selena have beef of their own – because Tay is totally hanging out with Lorde. This is dubious for a few reasons: first of all, I don’t know how all of these people with high-powered pop careers on totally different continents are finding time to hang out. It’s hard enough for me to coordinate schedules with normal-people friends who live in my city. Second, isn’t Taylor Swift like 24? And Lorde is like 16? Age ain’t nothing but a number (Aaliyah taught me that), but those eight years between 16 and 24 are sort of big. I think the only time I hung out with 16-year-olds when I was 24 was, like, maybe some younger cousins at family stuff. But still, if “sources close to the stars” are to be believed, Taylor Swift is legit friend-cheating on Selena. And after all she’s been through with the Demi Lovato friendship…

Actually, Lorde vs. Everyone, kind of.

Guys, I really like Lorde. I think her music is really refreshing and she’s a great lyricist. Still, girlfriend got herself into a lot of celebri-beefs through her public comments this year. I’m sure this is somewhat due to journalists digging for these kinds of soundbites because they’ve made it part of the Lorde “persona” after the Selena Gomez kerfuffle. I’m also sure Lorde is really a very nice person, and I’d like to state that publicly because I don’t want her to celebri-beef our blog.

First, Cher Lloyd responded to Lorde’s Selena Gomez comments, saying “She’s doing so well – what a knob. Why would she do that? She’s sitting at number one.” Cher Lloyd, apparently, is the voice of reason, because all us olds want to do is take Lorde aside and gently explain that when someone tries to get her to talk smack, she doesn’t need to play along.

Then, Joe Jonas tweeted that Lorde “shouldn’t be attacking all the true Queen Bitches’s”[sic]. For good measure, Lorde said that she doesn’t relate to Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lana del Ray and they are “completely irrelevant” to her experience, which is actually… very true, as much as I like them. No harm there, Lorde. She also said “I’m not on the scale of people like Ke$ha who are kind of into the aggressive oversharing….” When asked who her favorite train wreck was, Lorde said “Britney Spears is fun.” Again: just because someone asks doesn’t mean you have to play along. Though, all of us who have been 17 know how hard it is to restrain yourself when your friends are throwing shade at someone, let alone music journalists.

So, celebrities, if Lorde personally insults you in an interview, remember that it’s all part of the publicity machine and don’t take it personally — or who knows, maybe public shade is the Kiwi version of a hug and a compliment?

Kelly Clarkson vs. Clive Davis

An engagement, a pregnancy, a tour, a fantastic Christmas album — Kelly Clarkson was having one of the best years ever. Still, that didn’t stop her from taking a few shots during Open Letter Season. She hit back against some statements that appeared in Davis’s memoirs, basically implying that he’s either a liar, senile, or a senile liar.

Of course, when Kelly Clarkson hits back, it’s not with a lot of force. She concedes that she was crying in Clive Davis’s office, and that it was about a song on her album — but it was a completely different song than Davis was talking about. Anyone think Clarkson would have drawn less attention to the whole crying at work thing if she’d just let it pass instead of writing a letter?

Jada Smith vs. The Rumor Mill

There have been rumors swirling about the Pinkett-Smith marriage for years – as in, I was still reading Perez Hilton at the time, so that makes me think it was pre-2007-ish? Jada found herself under speculation this year because she said “Will can do whatever he wants,” and people interpreted that to mean “Will can do whomever he wants,” not, you know, “Will can schedule our anniversary dinner around his fantasy football draft and put soda cans on the coffee table without coasters.” (Aside: do very rich people have coffee tables? Or coasters? Why is it just hitting me that these seem like middle-class items?)

Since it was 2013, Jada figured screw it, I have an internet-connected device and a Facebook account, why don’t I just write an open letter? She says a lot of stuff about trust and love, or as Pinkett-Smith says, “TRUST and LOVE,” and to be honest, it’s pretty boring. Of note: she never straight-up says that Will does not do whomever he wants.

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is just DAYS away, you guys??? Unless you’re Jewish, or celebrate Kwanzaa or are the Grinch, so this doesn’t really apply to you. For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!
spotify:user:122917273:playlist:2SiQGCxAAb7WB1jPEf7nU9

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.

Taste of a Poison Paradise: Best of Britney Spears Covers

IT’S THE PRINCESS OF POP’S BIRTHDAY TODAY, Y’ALL!!

Brit Brit turns 32 years old today, and my what a life she’s had. Let’s put aside our dark memories of B circa 2007-2010 and focus on the good things. Whatever side you’re on of the spectrum of hating and loving Britney, you can’t deny how much of an impact she’s made on pop music. Let’s be real – she’s the closest thing our generation has to a Madonna or Michael Jackson. From dance moves to music videos to belting out her songs at the top of your lungs and maybe wondering why you know all the lyrics, Britney has managed to become of of the most influential artists of all time, whether you realize it or not. You think pop star, and you think Britney Spears.

And because imitation is the highest form of flattery, many an artist has attempted to cover Brit Brit’s catchy tunes over the years, but few have succeeded. In honor of one of my personal favorites, here are a few select covers of some of Britney’s most popular songs. Happy birthday Britney Jean!

Toxic by Alex & Sierra

As you can tell by this video, Alex and Sierra are a super cute couple who are currently vying for the (5?) million dollar record deal  on The X Factor. This was their very first audition and frankly, it’s probably my favorite cover of Toxic. Their voices blend so beautifully that’s it’s annoying. Plus they’re genuinely adorable.

Toxic by Melanie Martinez

Can you tell I used to watch/write about reality TV for a living? This is teenager Melanie Martinez who was a finalist on The Voice. Like Alex & Sierra, this was her audition song and blew the judges away, especially Adam Levine, who scooped her up on his team. Trust me, her singing is better than her choice of hair due.

Everytime by Kelly Clarkson

Queen Kelly Clarkson spend her entire summer tour covering a fan requested song each night, and the people of Las Vegas got a treat when she sang B’s most emotional song, Everytime. Honestly, KC can do no wrong.

Everytime by Glen Hansard

You might now Glen Hansard as the guy from Once or The Swell Season, but he’s apparently also a member of the Britney Spears Appreciation Fan Club. Who knew?

Gimme More by Sia

Listen. B obviously had some difficult times, but to be honest, the album she made during said dark ages, Blackout, is actually a really good record. The lead single is fantastic which is why it’s no surprise one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters, Sia, decided to sing it with her beautiful, haunting voice.

Womanizer by Lily Allen

Is it just me or does Womanizer just sound like it should have been be sung by a British in the first place? Or should I say WomaniSer???

Circus/Just Dance by Boyce Avenue

Boyce Avenue is a band that made it big after posting covers of songs on YouTube and this is just one of the great versions of popular songs they’ve done. They’re really good at mashups, sometimes even better than Glee. Usually better than Glee.

Hold it Against Me by Sam Tsui

Yet another YouTube sensation, Sam has a voice that is smooth and pitch perfect and kind of sounds like he belongs in a Disney movie. This cover was so popular that it even was featured on Ms. Spears’ official website. If that’s not a stamp of approval, idk what is.

Bill Clinton Converses with Celebrities

Yesterday was the 42nd President’s 66th birthday, and it’s not just because I like the guy, but I always remember his birthday because he shares it with my dad. So I mean, you could consider me as the Asian Chelsea Clinton. We have a lot of similarities.

Anyways, Billy C has had a storied life, bringing him all over the world and meeting hundreds of thousands of people of every walk of life. I recently came across this pic of a young William Jefferson Clinton meeting then President John F. Kennedy at The White House in 1963.

bill clinton jfk

He was just a teen in this iconic pic but can you even imagine their conversation?! ‘Oh hey Mr. President. I’m going to be the President one day and have an affair with an intern and my wife’s gonna forgive me and so will America and people will still like me. How’s Marilyn?’ (not verbatim)

Throughout the years of his Presidency, Billy has met a plethora of famous people, and if only we could hear what they were saying …

Billy C: Hey, that goatee looks great on you. I should grow one out too, don’t you think?
Brad Pitt: … No offense sir, but I was sexiest man alive 1995. I can pull anything off. You? Not so much.

Billy C: Great job tonight son. Nice hair.
Justin Bieber: Thanks man. Who are you again?

Billy C: Hilary and I listen to your slow jamz all the time. If you know what I mean *wink*
Usher: Yeah, I got you, sir. No need to wink.

Billy C: Y’all want to start a supergroup?!
Bono & Jon Bon Jovi: … No.

Billy C: Kobe, you and I have a lot in common.
Kobe: Don’t I know it, sir!
Kobe’s Wife: *flashes diamond ring*

Mick Jagger: Let’s go team-m, let’s go!
Billy C: You’re clapping off beat.

Betty White: Oh! Mr. President!!
Billy C: This is the most action I’ve gotten in 2 years. Let this happen.

Billy C: Jennifer, thanks so much for my award. Such a pleasure to meet you!
Jennifer Lawrence: HAHAHA I’m such a big fan I loved you in the White House I mean as the President not like ‘IN the White House’ like I’m a fan of you when you were the leader of the free world not like I was stalking you in the White House… you’re from Arkansas and I’m from Kentucky, we’re both from the south, isn’t that great?! *falls flat on her face*

Billy C: Charlize! Have you met Matt Bomer? He’s convinced me to do Magic Mike 2!
Matt: It’s true! I didn’t convince him to wear that fedora though…
Charlize: Are you sure you’re gay??

Bill Cosby: Now sir…. have you heard the joke about the penguin and the spaghetti…
Jerry Seinfeld: What’s the deal with the spaghetti?
Billy C: I honestly have no idea what either of you are saying right now.

Billy C: Hey Mikey, how’s that monkey of yours doing?
Michael Jackson: Not here, Mr. President. Not here.

Michael Jordan: I love you man, thanks so much for coming out to play golf with me.
Billy C: This picture is going to be framed and hung up in my Harlem office.

Billy C: Bruuuce! Can I bring out my saxophone now?
Bruce Springsteen: Alright man, but only on Born to Run.

Lyle Lovett: *mumbles*
Willie Nelson: Hey Pres, I got some realllly nice pot backstage if you wanna take a few hits before we go back out there.
Billy C: I don’t trust your pot, Willie… Let’s use mine.
Whoopi Goldberg: Child, this is NOT The View that I signed up for.
Eric Clapton: WTF am I doing here, I’m not even American.

Billy C: I can’t believe I’m hugging THE Meryl Streep!
Meryl Streep: Someone take this peasant off of me.

Tom Cruise: So now that you’re not the President anymore, how are your stress levels? Can I interest you in a free test? All the celebrities are doing it…
Billy C: Nice try, Tommy.

Billy C: *thumbs up*

Movies I Actually Paid To See In the Theater: Part 1 – Shame

In part 1 of a 2 part mini-series, I reflect on some films that some consider to be the worst of the worst, but I consider to be… well still maybe the worst, but I gave them the benefit of doubt to be potentially really good.

Here is a list of the movies I am embarrassed to have paid money for, but in my defense, most of these were when I was a teenager, so there’s that.

From Justin to Kelly (2003)

IMDb Plot Description: “A lonely, sexually repressed man. A depressed woman. A summer camp. On this fateful night, they will meet… and their hearts will become one.”

This outing was only prompted by the fact that American Idol was the biggest thing in pop culture that year, and I totally fell into their ploy. I even went to a taping of Idol that year, and had a sign showing my allegiance to Justin that may or may not have made it on air (That’s also where I met Mario Lopez, but that’s a story for another day). So naturally, I felt like I had to see the movie too. Even as a teen, I knew it was bad. But now we can all watch it and make it a drinking game, so really, win-win.

Marci X (2003)

IMDb Plot Description: “A Jewish-American Princess is forced to take control of a hard-core hip-hop record label and tries to rein the one of the label’s most controversial rappers.”

Again, I only wanted to see this movie since Lisa Kudrow was in it and I was at the height of my Friends obsession. Looking back, this movie had a few comedic moments, but overall it was just second-hand embarrassment for Pheebs, not to mention, the movie is actually a little racist?

Serving Sara (2002)

IMDb Plot Description: “A process server tries to serve an elusive female target.”

Apparently I would literally see anything that any of the Friends cast was in, because I saw Matthew Perry in this movie too and it wasn’t good. Newsflash, pretty much all of the movies the Friends made between 1994-2004 were not good. Save for maybe The Whole Nine Yards and all the Jennifer Aniston movies.

Corky Romano (2001)

IMDb Plot Description: “The loser son of a Mafia honcho must go undercover for the FBI.”

I guess another thing to note was that my default for going out with my friends in high school, like a lot of teens, is to go to the movies. But to go to the movies not for its quality, but to go because you recognize the star in it and there’s nothing else to do. Enter Corky Romano. I was also really into Saturday Night Live, and although Chris Kattan was not my favorite by far (Jimmy Fallon, obvs), he was on SNL so it had to be funny, right? Absolutely not.

Sydney White (2007)

IMDb Plot Description: “A modern retelling of Snow White set against students in their freshman year of college in the greek system.”

Well, I was thisclose to putting this movie on my other list (of movies I have no shame in seeing), but looking at the big picture, I paid like $3 to see Sydney White at a second run theater during a matinee because I didn’t have that much faith in it. To my surprise it was actually quite entertaining, and it’s a nice reminder of how Amanda Bynes used to be before this happened.

The Best Of: Kelly Clarkson Cover Songs

KC did this awesome thing on her recent Stronger tour where she asked fans to send in their requests for songs they would like to see her cover during every single stop on the tour. The result was fantastic, as she murdered pretty much every song she performed. Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of  all of them, but here are my favorites if you want the abridged version.

*PS: Note to ALL YouTube uploaders: It is absolutely annoying when you talk during the video and the viewer can hear every single word out of your damn mouth. Shut it.

I Know You Won’t – Originally by Carrie Underwood

Fix You – Originally by Coldplay

Gravity – Originally by Sara Bareilles

Crazy For You – Originally by Madonna

Poison and Wine w/ Duets contestant Jason Farol – Originally by The Civil Wars